Yesterday I had my bi-weekly appointment with my nutritionist. We talked about my progress, the changes happening in my body, and she answered the questions I came prepared with.
Things I learned yesterday:
1. I’m still not eating enough calories.
One of the questions I had for her about going vegetarian. I feel like my diet is so clean in every aspect except for meat! I feel like my body will be so much happier without it. She very decisively told me not to go vegetarian (for now). She said she still thinks I’m not eating enough calories to support my activity level now and that my body is still physically recovering from the damage I did through anorexia.
I am still having trouble grasping the fact that I am still not eating enough calories. She said given my current body weight/BMI (which is healthy) and my activity level, I should be taking in 2200 calories/day! Ack! We guessed my current calorie intake to be around 1500 (much much better than what I was at before). I don’t know how much more I can eat!!
I’m going to heed her advice and wait on plunging into vegetarianism until the New Year, when I’ll hopefully be in a much healthier place and will be able to sustain the strain that vegetarianism will place on my body.
2. My metabolism is waking up!
I have been having trouble with packing my lunch. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I pack my lunch to eat in my psychology class. I usually pack a sandwich, fruit and/or veggies, and a go-gurt. Then I’m hungry again an hour and a half later even though I was full after eating my lunch. I wanted to know what in the world was going on, so I asked. She told me that my metabolism was waking up again and beginning to move faster (given my muscle mass) and that’s why I was getting hungry. Even the fact that I feel hungry every is exciting (since I pretty much lost that sensation during my eating disorder).
3. My lunch/dinner caloric intake should be between 400 and 500 calories per meal.
I don’t count calories nor do I journal my food. My gut reaction to calorie counting and food journaling is to use exercise as punishment and to restrict my eating. Not good. That said, I don’t want to gain the weight back that I previously lost. I want to make sure that I am giving my body what it needs, without going overboard. I like having a round-about idea of what to I should be around (a very general approximation) for my caloric intake.
4. Listen to my body.
I asked my nutritionist about my recent favorite go-to meal: grilled banana french toast sammich. I said I would still get hungry in a couple of hours after eating, even though I was pairing the sammich with a big glass of milk. If I added an apple and peanut butter to the meal, I would still get hungry. What was the deal?!
She said it was my metabolism hard at work again! Since the sammich hits a lot of nutritional benchmarks (protein, fruit, starch), I didn’t really need the side. So, how to make that sammich work more efficiently for me?
And a new recipe for the grilled banana french toast sammich was born. I tried it out last night and I was full for hours!! I had dinner around 5, then didn’t eat again until 9 (and I was only a little hungry, but knew that I’d be starving by the time I got home at midnight if I didn’t eat, so I went ahead and had a Fiber One Bar). I spread some peanut butter on both slices of bread after cooking them. I was in HEAVEN! This sammich is truly a sammich. French toast + banana + peanut butter > ambrosia. Seriously.
Long story short, I have to learn to incorporate actually having a metabolism now when I’m eating. Overeating at a meal will not keep me from getting hungry a few hours later, so don’t over fill my fuel tank!
All in all, a very informative and useful appointment with the nutritionist. Next time: tackling Thanksgiving (which, by the way, I am already stressing out over… as well as Christmas… but it’s a process).